NZ bay to remain closed for fishing
New Zealand’s Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has announced that Maunganui Bay will be closed to fishing for all species, except kina, for another two years.
Maunganui Bay, on the Cape Brett Peninsula in the Bay of Islands, was first closed to all fishing, except kina, on 1 December 2010.
Ngati Kuta and Patukeha ki Te Rawhiti, the two resident hapü (political units within the Maori society), have requested a further closure, or rähui, as they consider that more time is required to allow depleted stocks in the bay to recover.
Temporary closures in the North Island are established under section 186A of the Fisheries Act 1996 at the request of local tangata whenua. They can be put in place if fishery resources need to be recovered in an area, or can recognise a customary fishing practice.
Kina has been excluded from the clsure because there are said to be abundant supplies.
Robert Willoughby, spokesperson for the two hapü, said: “It will be especially helpful to species that are continuing to establish around the artificial reef formed by scuttling the ex-frigate Waitaha/Canterbury in the Bay in 2007.”
Fishery officers will continue to patrol and enforce the temporary closure and fines up to a maximum of $100,000 will apply to anybody caught breaching it.
Maunganui Bay will remain closed until 30 November 2014.